Friday, September 03, 2010

Two Good Books

Sometimes it seems there is an inordinate amount of time between excellent reads.  Not so this summer.  I've been fortunate to have two, practically back-to-back.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, was recommended to me by a blog reader and for the life of me I can't remember who.  But, whoever you are, thank you so much!  Told from the unusual perspective of Death, this novel, set during the Holocaust, is about a young girl who is sent to live with a foster family after her mother has been arrested.  It is a story of relationships that the girl forms -- first with her foster father, then with a neighbor, and then with a prominent townswoman.  There's another relationship, too, but telling that would be a spoiler.  It's about a person finding her way, finding her place; a person who loves books, and who loves others unconditionally.

The characters are wonderful.  Somehow, even Death comes across as a sympathetic and not horrible figure.

I loved this book.  I was glad that it was available in paperback so I can share it with  my daughters.

The other day when I went to the library to pick up the book that was on reserve for me, I had ten minutes before I had to be to my next appointment.  So I went and perused the new fiction, something I seldom have time to do.

Perfect Peace's cover stood out for me, and so I picked up the book.  And ended up bringing it home.  And couldn't put it down.

Emma Jean Hurt grew up as an abused, unloved, unwanted child.  As an adult, she wanted -- needed -- a daughter to love and lavish.  After six sons, she just knew her seventh pregnancy would yield that daughter.  And when it didn't, she decided otherwise.  She told the family that at last they had a little girl and raised the child as a girl until she turned eight.  Then the truth had to be told.

This is an amazing book that tells the story of a poor, uneducated family, and how they cope with the inconceivable (pun intended).  How they are forced to look at issues of gender, sex, and love.  It is a bizarre theme, but don't be put off by it.  I found myself almost understanding what Emma Jean did.

Okay, friends, please go out to the library or bookstore and pick up one or both of these.  That should keep you busy for the weekend while I'm off-line.  The troops arrive tonight, the big move is scheduled for tomorrow, and I'm in charge of the food rations.

Happy holiday weekend, all.




9 comments:

QuiltingFitzy said...

Keep those recommendations coming! I just finished "Barefoot" and am currently reading something about Sisters (sorry, the title escapes me, lol).

I'm on #35 this year, it's been amusing to keep track!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I appreciate good book recommendations, thank you so much. Wishing you well this weekend.

altar ego said...

Have a lovely weekend in the midst of what may be toil! Sounds like wonderful feasting of all kinds on tap as well: not just food, but friends, family, a certain peace in transition... Blessings on it all.

Julie in the Barn said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I read Book Thief last year and loved it. I recommend The Book Of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring and Unless by Carol Shields.

Ms. Jan said...

The Book Thief is one of my favorite books of all time. I read a library copy and immediately bought one to keep. Fabulous read!

Susan said...

I listened to an audio edition of The Book Thief a few years ago and loved it, too. I'd recommend Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. It's an account of a family in the aftermath of Katrina.

Good luck with the move!

Lori said...

Thanks for the book reviews. I've written both of them on my list.

Sharon said...

Checked out the Book Thief this morning, but the Peace book is new enough the library put it on the "please to order" list. Looking forward to reading both. Thank you! Wish I could be there this weekend to hold babies and help move furniture.

quiltmom said...

The books look fascinating- I ordered the book thief from the library but the other one is not available our library just yet- I will have to try and request that they order it for the library.
Hope you are having a lovely long weekend.
Regards,
Anna